Central Oregon’s Job Growth Slowed in May, But Unemployment Fell

Central Oregon’s nonfarm employment continues to rise, albeit at a slower rate than usual for this time of year in all three counties, the Oregon Department of Employment reported on Wednesday (21 June).

Crook County –Β The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.5% in May, down from 5.0% in May of last year. The unemployment rate is currently 1.0 percentage point above the record low of 4.5% set prior to the pandemic.

Crook County gained 90 nonfarm jobs in May, bringing the total to 7,600. In February 2020, Crook County’s employment levels are 13.3% higher than they were before the pandemic (+890 jobs).

The county added 270 jobs (+3.7%) over the past year. Crook County’s rate of job growth over the past year remains one of the quickest among Oregon’s 36 counties. Information (+90 jobs), private education and health services (+70 jobs), professional and business services (+50 jobs), and manufacturing (+50 jobs) saw the most employment growth. Wholesale trade (-20 jobs) and mining and logging (-10 jobs) suffered the most employment losses.

Deschutes County –Β In May, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0% from 4.1% in April. The unemployment rate in May remained 0.6% above its record low of 3.4% prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Deschutes County gained 650 jobs in May, bringing the total to 91,760. The manufacturing industry lost 30 positions, bringing its total number of employees to 6,110. Accommodation and culinary services (+370 jobs), mining, logging, and construction (+320 jobs), and government (+130 jobs) registered the greatest increases. Seasonally adjusted employment levels in May were 2,990 jobs, or 3.4%, higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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Since May 2022, total nonfarm employment has increased by 1.5% (1,390 positions). Both the accommodation and culinary services industry and the private education and health services industry led private industry growth with a 430-job increase year-over-year (+3.9 and +2.8%, respectively). Professional and business services (+400 jobs), other services (+220 jobs), and mining, forestry, and construction (+200 jobs) also contributed to the increase. Losses in trade, transportation, and utilities (-390 jobs) and financial activities (-190 jobs) occurred over the year.

Jefferson County –Β The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in May, from 5.1% in April. The unemployment rate was 4.4% between October and December of 2019, just prior to the onset of COVID-19.

In May, total nonfarm employment increased by 10. Government (+50 jobs), construction (+10 jobs), and other services (+10 jobs) saw the most employment growth. Professional and business services (-30), leisure and hospitality (-20), and manufacturing (-10) lost the most employment. All other industries experienced minimal or no change during the month. Jefferson County is currently 210 employees (-3.1%) below its employment level prior to the pandemic.

Over the past year, nonfarm employment in Jefferson County increased by 10 jobs (0.2%). Trade, transportation, and utilities lost the most jobs (-70), followed by professional and business services (-40) and leisure and hospitality (-30). The government (+100 jobs), other services (+40 jobs), and manufacturing (+20 jobs) saw the most employment growth.

Oregon’s county and metro area unemployment rates for June will be released on Tuesday, July 25, and the state’s unemployment rate and employment survey data for June will be released on Wednesday, July 19.

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field.Neon's work can be found on Focushillsboro.com, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

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